Montemurro: Catley ‘can go to next level’ at Arsenal

England Women's Beth Mead and Australia Women's Steph Catley (right) battle for the ball during a fr

England Women's Beth Mead and Australia Women's Steph Catley (right) battle for the ball during a friendly at Craven Cottage in 2018 - Credit: PA

Joe Montemurro believes that Steph Catley is at the perfect club ‘to go to the next level’.

Arsenal announced the Australian international as a new signing for the 2020-21 season on Thursday, with the 26-year-old joining from Melbourne Victory.

Catley has won 82 caps for the Matildas since making her debut aged 18 and Montemurro said: “Steph has been sought after by a few of the top European clubs, but she just felt that the way we play, our style and environment suited her and her progress going forward.

“We’re very excited to have Steph join the club. She’s a player that I’ve worked with before at Melbourne Victory where she was the captain, and then I brought her over to Melbourne City so I worked with her for a total of three years.

“I’ve obviously kept in contact with her as friends also, but she’s definitely a player that once the opportunity arose, understood that she needed to advance her career by coming to Europe.

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“That was very important to her and we kept tabs and made sure that the lines of communication were open, and lo and behold we had the opportunity to offer her an opportunity!

“A lot of the Australian players at the moment have understood that to advance their careers, they have to get the normal contracts in Europe, if you want to call it that, where they play 30 to 40 games in a season under pressure and amongst the best.

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“I think that Steph has understood that the WSL is an important stepping stone and being part of one of the best leagues in the world and being amongst the best players in the world is only going to make her better.

“So it’s a strategic career move for her, but also an important part is that she’s found the right fit with the right club that will take her to the next level.”

Speaking about her character Montemurro went on to add: “First of all, she’s an amazing person and a great character.

“She’s one that is there for the team and one that is very much a selfless player who will do a lot of the defensive structural work when needed, but she’s also dangerous in the attacking phase.

“She’s an attack-minded left-sided player who can also play as a left-sided central defender in a back three, and in a back four too, of course. She suits our fluidity, she’s very good in a positional sense, and more importantly very effective going forward.

“She’s a very technical player and a player that suits the way we like to do things, and she was the perfect fit for us not only on the left side of defence, but also in the attacking phase.

“She’s ecstatic to come to the UK, but more importantly coming to Arsenal. We’re excited to have her as part of the squad and we look forward to some exciting times with Steph.”

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